Smart Gardening Volunteer

This is my 900th post since I first began my blog. The first two years I spent getting my recipes online from another file that did not include pictures. I am slowly remaking every recipe and adding this much needed media. Pictures really make a blog what it is.

This changed in the last two years – I bought a new camera, joined a blog party fiesta friday which resulted in a social aspect to blogging. So, for this special post I decided to publish a post on gardening. This is my second love outside of cooking and the two really go hand in hand.

Occasionally, I comment that I need a break so if I should disappear it will not be for very long. It is Spring you know and that means working in the garden, volunteering and enjoying the upcoming months in Michigan. Even though I have a lot of energy blogging is demanding. I will always be cooking and hopefully coming up with new ideas to share. I mean 900 posts – whew!!!

Who’s a “Smart Gardener”? Me, that’s who. Recently I completed the Michigan State University (MSU) Extension Introduction to Smart Gardening Webinar Series and I am now a Master Gardener Β Smart Gardening Volunteer. I am actually an Advanced Organic Master Gardener too! Let’s put that all together Advanced Organic Master Gardener Smart Gardening Volunteer. That’s a mouthful isn’t it?

Besides the title of Smart Gardener I received a pin and certificate verifying that I had passed the initial requirements.

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What is Smart Gardening? According to Michigan State University (MSU) “Science-based gardening, environmental awareness and sustainability have long been a hallmark of MSUE consumer horticulture programs. In 2013 the MSU Extension Consumer Horticulture team developed a method to distribute “smart” ideas to home gardeners that capitalize on the use of a “tiered” delivery system. The “Smart Gardening” initiative features simple, research-based messages adapted for home gardeners that are centered on environmental stewardship.”

To share these messages with a wide audience, every form of communication such as web, on-line, print and so on is employed. I will be communicating directly with people at gatherings such as our local farmer’s market, home and garden show or a fair. This will be one-on-one about how to be “smart” in gardening endeavors and providing printed materials on the Gardening in Michigan website.

So, how do you become a Smart Gardening Volunteer? First you need to be an active re-certified Master Gardener. The training includes review of all Smart Gardening Β consumer materials, videos and webinars. Oh yes, there are quizzes you have to turn in – they want to make sure you learned something.

How easy to learn at my own pace within a certain time limit, on my own computer while I have my coffee in the morning or just relaxing in the afternoon. I have had so much education in my life from a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, Masters in Library Science to many gardening and cooking classes and/or conferences. Education in any form continues to be a valuable part of my life and I hope it is with you too πŸ™‚

This was so much fun and so educational – I really enjoyed the webinars on bees as I learned something new. Did you know there are almost 450 varieties of bees in Michigan?

I am so proud of the pictures below showing bees with their orange pollen sacs – beautiful aren’t they? Two of my best pictures ever… even Patty Nguyen gave the thumbs up. From Patty “bees are hard to shoot and you did a fantastic job”. Many of us know about Patty’s beautiful photos she takes of nature, young ones, special moments and the list goes on. Please check out Patty’s site https://pattynguyen.wordpress.com/2016/04/27/2016-monthly-photo-project-april/ for some really professional pictures. BesidesΒ she also likes to cook and is a teacher! Oh, I almost forgot Bailey – Β Patty has the cutest dog ever!

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I am linking up to Fiesta Friday #118 where Angie and her two co-hosts, Kaila @ gflife247 and Laurena @ lifediethealth have just started this week’s party.

63 thoughts on “Smart Gardening Volunteer

  1. Congrats on #900 and for being a Smart Gardener, Judi! But I think you are a Smart Everything. They should give you an award for that as well. πŸ™‚ Thank you for the sweet mention in this post, my friend. It made me SMILE. ❀

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    • Thanks so much Patty, you are really too sweet. I’m happy it made you smile as that was my intention. You really are a special person and have a wonderful site. Wish I could take photos like you do πŸ™‚

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  2. Wow Judi, 900 posts is commendable! I’ve been blogging over 5 years and I’m almost pushing 400. I started out posting daily, then 2 or 3 times a week, and for the past few years I can barely get one post out a week! And huge congrats for being a Smart Gardener!

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    • Thanks Kathryn – initially I had tons of recipes that just needed to be redone. Then like you I slowed down (once I found out pictures are really needed). I enjoy gardening and this is just one more opportunity offered by the Master Gardener Program.

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  3. Congratulations, Judi! 900th post?? That is awe inspiring! How wonderful that you’re also continuing your education…to be a Master Gardener is one thing…but to be a Smart Gardener too? Bravo!!
    I remember that bee photo…it’s gorgeous!

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  4. Congratulations Judi, wow, you’ve had us all beat! 900 is no small number! Bravo! Great too that gardening is your other love. Much like me, I just love this time of the year, and volunteer at a garden not far from home. Isn’t it just wonderful to be out there with the birds and the bees? And talking about bees, wow, brilliant shot! Love Patty’s photos too. I enjoy blogging about gardens too and have a special section on my blog for just that. Looking forward to learning more about your Smart Gardening tips n’ tricks πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks Loretta – it’s hard to believe I have that many. I do enjoy it and love sharing and learning from others like you. I know you love gardening too – wish my volunteer work was within walking distance. I hope you have better luck with the “critters” this year πŸ™‚

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    • Oh I hear you Julie. The other day neighbors invited me over for a glass of wine and I had to turn them down I was so tired from working in the yard. LOL. The bee pictures are my best and I did not realize what I had captured until I looked at the pictures and saw the orange pollen sacs!

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  5. Oh wow congratulations Judi “900 posts”, this is just amazing. The pictures are stunning and congratulations for being a smart Gardener. Enjoy and have a beautiful Spring! πŸ™‚

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  6. Congrats on your 900 posts Wow ! That is a lot !!! I love your pic’s, you captured that bee so beautifully πŸ™‚ And, you are a smart gardener too, ….you are a woman of many talents. Happy May πŸ™‚

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  7. Congratulations on 900 posts and becoming an Advanced Organic Master Gardener Smart Gardening Volunteer. It really is a mouthfull πŸ˜€ That is so impressive Judi! It was great learning more about you too πŸ˜€

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    • Thanks Liz! It was fun to get 6 hours of educational hours just sitting at my computer – learned a lot as always. Are you still active? I am thinking about retiring down the road, but I hate to let it go…

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  8. Hi, Fab blog! I have just set up mine, but still in the very early stages – a few months old. Just making efforts to link in with fellow bloggers to improve our followers and get the word out there for us both. I would appreciate you having a peek at my blog, as I have published several posts. Feel free to like, comment, follow or just take a peek. Thank you πŸ™‚

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  9. 900 posts, wow!! That’s remarkable, Judi! And I remember the bee photos. You should make posters out of them, they’re so beautiful. And Patty gave you the thumbs up; I always listen to her when it comes to photography πŸ˜„

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    • Thanks Angie – lots of posts and I have learned a lot in the past few years. It’s been fun sharing with everyone. I probably should at least get the bee pictures framed. I am not a professional but they sure are great pictures – Patty’s comment when I first posted them meant a lot πŸ™‚

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  10. NINE HUNDRED posts!!! Wow! Lots of Congratulations for you today! Congrats for your master gardener award (any gardening tips appreciated…especially on organic pest control?!) Congrats for being so dedicated to your blog. Congrats for the amazing bee photos – I’m very impressed by those! Thanks for sharing at Fiesta Friday πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks Laurena – I have a number of garden posts or I give tips within many “recipes” I have posted. The bee pictures are very special – one can get beautiful photos just by chance and not be a professional. Happy Fiesta Friday and have a good week πŸ™‚

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      • πŸ™‚ I’ll come and have more of a look around when I have some time – it’s suddenly garden weather here and knowing the UK it won’t last long! 😦 Happy Fiesta Friday to you too and have a great weekend πŸ™‚

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  11. I loved reading about how you began blogging, and am certainly glad there are pictures in your posts. BUT, I liked learning about your gardening background as well. I’ve been reading your blog for so long, but mainly know the foods you eat. πŸ™‚ This was a nice mix up and the bee pictures are beautiful. Congrats on the gardening course!

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    • Thanks Kaila – I have a few more gardening posts scattered throughout my blog. Gardening and cooking are my two passions! We have been a part of Angie’s FF for a long time – I was there for FF #1! The bee is special – a good camera and a little luck πŸ™‚

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  12. Congratulations on your 900th post! How exciting!! And your smart gardener certificate! This is the first time I’ve heard of it. About a week ago I planted a few things in planters on my small balcony. So far the basil has sprouted, and my rhubarb sprouted for its second year πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks so much Ai! I have 3 raised beds for veggies and my herb and flower beds around my house. Container gardening is a good thing as you can grow lots of different veggies/flowers/herbs in a small amount of space πŸ™‚

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  13. Wooow! Congratulations Aunt Juju on your 900th post. That is a great accomplishment. And I must say that the bee pictures are ah-mazing. πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»

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